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  1. #21
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Is this the sole reason for friendships? Mental stimulation? If mental stimulation were the guiding force in seeking and maintaining friendships, it is not surprising then that they would fall apart eventually. The two people learn all they can about each other, they know each other's M.O., they've heard it all. They move on.

    My opinion? You're avoiding emotional intimacy and the cycle won't end until you learn why.
    I agree with heart. I have ended or let drift away friendships before because the other person just didn't get me or any of my interests (mainly it was an S-N clash, which was made worse by the other person being an extrovert and doing all the talking so they never got the chance to truly get to know me anyway) and I felt like I had to hide a big part of my personality to get along with them. But I have learnt from that and allow only certain people into "close friendship-zone" and most of my friendships don't end like this anymore. So if the friendships of the OP constantly end because after a while he feels like the other person can't excite him anymore that shows some deeper issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coeur View Post
    I'm going to focus most on Situation 3 because it's exactly what I'm going through now and I'll hopefully be able to help you.

    My issue with my friend was this: she was my best friend, thus, I possessed the compulsion to be completly open with her. [I'm extremely all or nothing in relationships; it's hard to fragment myself around someone I'm close to.] The problem was, she /hated/ everything I was passionate about (poetry, literature, plays, music, etc). Whenever I did share these said topics with her, she had no input. At all. A "wow" or a "lol" or an "okay" perhaps, but that was it. If I invited her to one of my plays or tried to get her to read one of my poems, she would oppose it to the death, even if she knew that it was important to me. [Then, even if she did 'tolerate' it, I would recieve no input.] It was absolutely maddening and I felt extreme discontentment in our relationship.

    So... I vehemently concur that intellectual stimulation is important.
    I can completely relate to this situation, it's like you have hit a wall and you just can't go deeper with this person anymore and have to close off certain parts of yourself and play friends on the surface. I think if there are no other real connection points in the friendship that would be a reason to just let it drift away.

  2. #22
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coeur View Post

    My issue with my friend was this: she was my best friend, thus, I possessed the compulsion to be completly open with her. [I'm extremely all or nothing in relationships; it's hard to fragment myself around someone I'm close to.] The problem was, she /hated/ everything I was passionate about (poetry, literature, plays, music, etc). Whenever I did share these said topics with her, she had no input. At all. A "wow" or a "lol" or an "okay" perhaps, but that was it. If I invited her to one of my plays or tried to get her to read one of my poems, she would oppose it to the death, even if she knew that it was important to me. [Then, even if she did 'tolerate' it, I would recieve no input.] It was absolutely maddening and I felt extreme discontentment in our relationship.

    So... I vehemently concur that intellectual stimulation is important.

    I know where you're coming from with this, but I don't entirely agree. I think that if someone is a really great/close friend, there may be a lot of things you don't have in common in terms of interests and intellectual stimulation...BUT you take an interest in each other's interests. Even if, up to a point, it's mainly to be polite. I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like your experience above with your friend wasn't just to do with not having enough shared interests, but she kind of disrespected or even mocked your interests. That's a real problem.

    With my closest friends, we certainly have some shared interests, or even a lot. But I can think of at least a couple of close friends where we have very few shared interests/hobbies/intellectual pursuits...however, we have a close emotional connection, take at least some interest in each other's interests, and TRY TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. I think that's key.

    I do think the OP is concentrating too much on people's flaws and on what he can get out of friendships/relationships. It's a two-way street and it's good to remember that we are all imperfect. Other than that, I think others have made more constructive comments already.
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  3. #23
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Yes, there is more control in that. But I've also found that I end up giving, giving and giving without getting much in return. And that gets old really fast. I realize that it's again due to perfectionism.
    Ive been in the opposite boat, I don't give much in return because most of the time, when I don't feel a connection forming or that the person and I are on different pages all the time, I just find it hard to contribute to the friendship. Otherwise, when I find someone I can just be myself with and they follow (as in, they aren't perplexed, or are perplexed and enjoy it) I tend to put more effort into that relationship.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

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  4. #24
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    This thread has gotten me to examine how I develop my own relationships, whether they are family or friends. At first I couldn't understand how I formed them, but in the minute I have thought about this subject I think I've figured it out.

    I agree greatly with everyones posts. First of all balance is essential, as it is with everything. Secondly, patience, relationships don't just form as many have eluded to; it's a piece of clay and if you rush the process the structure won't be very sound and it will collapse within itself. Thirdly, the only way to connect with anyone is to listen to them and ask questions, connections can't be made if you aren't willing to at least try and understand why this person acts the way they do, or try and understand why they enjoy what they do. That's why we have questions.

    These are in order of importance, to me. I do my best to remember all three things (especially if the person I'm forming a relationship with is talking about something I know nothing about). And you must exercise each one of these simultaneously. I don't know if this helped, but in the short time I have been on this planet I find these to be effective.

  5. #25
    Member Ouroboros's Avatar
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    I get close to someone and we become good friends. I highly esteem this person at first, but then I detect little flaws in the person and become mentally critical of him or her. I try to ignore this kind of thinking, but the little voice of doubt keeps going and going. [...]I hate myself for it sometimes, but I can't forget flaws in people. There's just an immense sense of disappointment or betrayal and it cuts me so deep the wound never heals.
    I had an important friendship end because I felt someone was seriously flawed and there was nothing I could do about it. I don't spend all my time thinking about flaws and worthiness and whether someone meets my standards. That is like a total waste of time and energy. But if I find out that someone wants to hurt or take advantage of someone else, I won't forget. It's best to cut those people off. Of course, I'm not sure what you mean by flaws. That could mean anything from little quirks to moral bankruptcy. Do you have a hard time accepting people in general, people you've become close to, or just certain friends?

    I get close to someone and we become good friends. However, after a time, I realize this person is of no use to me anymore. He or she fails to stimulate me mentally or in other ways.
    It sounds like you stop respecting someone if they don't entertain you or you think they can't keep up with you, and they then become dispensable. Do you stop enjoying their company? What were those failed friendships based on? Similar passions, proximity, mutual friends? In my case, friendship needs to be based on a compatible sense of humor. That way, we're always able to find something to laugh about, and everything else is sprinkles on top.

    Is it possible that you get into a rut, and the friendship becomes repetitive? Do you bring something new to each friendship, or do you tend to repeat patterns that worked in other ones? That could make things feel stagnant even if it's a different person. (I'm just tossing ideas out there. Maybe one will come close, but probably not!)

    Scenario 2 often happens when I initially feel such a person is "stronger" or "better" than me. I'm drawn to these people because I detect some potential benefit or a possible good friendship.
    What sort of benefit are you hoping for? Do you just want to enjoy someone's company or is it more mercenary than that? Do you hope to learn from them so you can become stronger and better? Are you networking, trying to get favors? Just looking for entertainment? I didn't really understand what sort of benefit you meant.

    How come so many of my friendships end up this way? Am I the only one with this problem? One thing's for sure, it's really taught me how reliable I am versus the rest of the world.
    It's not just you. I'm terrible at friendships. That's why I'm starting small with friendcanoes and working my way up.

    Do you mean the problem has taught you that you're reliable and everyone else isn't? Or that your "me vs. the World" mentality is ingrained? Or something else entirely?? The way I see it...if you're dissatisfied, you'll either work on accepting people, become comfortable more with being alone, or have more short-lived friendships. If friends are "floating away" or returning infrequently to contact you, maybe you can expend a little more effort to keep in touch/get back in contact?

  6. #26
    Senior Member durentu's Avatar
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    OP: I think you got it all wrong.

    Friendship by default will always end in disappointment. The result will always end badly because even if everything else was perfect, they will die. So what then?

    The problem with this is that you expect too much from friendship. Sizing people up to see which one's will give you more pleasure vs another. And of course, this is completely one sided. Then you become a cynic and then give up on friendship altogether. The next question is: "Am I comfortable with loneliness?"

    Instead of this consequential viewpoint (focusing on the outcome and analyzing people before you actually form bonds), ask yourself "Was the friendship good enough to do it again regardless of how brief or horrible it ended?"

    All people are allowed to change their minds and as a result, some will come together while some split. All friendships must end since we're all bound by mortality. All humans are prone to error which is why forgiveness exists. And you forgive another for your own sake, not theirs.

    At the end of the day, did you enjoy the company?

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coeur View Post
    I'm going to focus most on Situation 3 because it's exactly what I'm going through now and I'll hopefully be able to help you.

    My issue with my friend was this: she was my best friend, thus, I possessed the compulsion to be completly open with her. [I'm extremely all or nothing in relationships; it's hard to fragment myself around someone I'm close to.] The problem was, she /hated/ everything I was passionate about (poetry, literature, plays, music, etc). Whenever I did share these said topics with her, she had no input. At all. A "wow" or a "lol" or an "okay" perhaps, but that was it. If I invited her to one of my plays or tried to get her to read one of my poems, she would oppose it to the death, even if she knew that it was important to me. [Then, even if she did 'tolerate' it, I would recieve no input.] It was absolutely maddening and I felt extreme discontentment in our relationship.

    So... I vehemently concur that intellectual stimulation is important.

    1. Don't expect one friend to fulfill you completely. It's impossible. You'll always need to express different sides of yourself around different people. Make new friends and it will take a LOT of the pressure off of the other friend. But, again, I concur that it's hard to fragment yourself.
    2. Find someone you have a lot in common with from the beginning. It's hard to see the importance of commanalities at the start of a relationship, but your friendship will NOT thrive without a shared passion. Find someone who is as passionate about your ideas as you are.
    I sense a huge difference in what you said than just not mentally connecting w/ a friend. Would anyone want a friend who doesn't accept your interests/passions? Even if she doesn't like them, she should show some support if she were a good friend.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I know where you're coming from with this, but I don't entirely agree. I think that if someone is a really great/close friend, there may be a lot of things you don't have in common in terms of interests and intellectual stimulation...BUT you take an interest in each other's interests. Even if, up to a point, it's mainly to be polite. I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like your experience above with your friend wasn't just to do with not having enough shared interests, but she kind of disrespected or even mocked your interests. That's a real problem.

    With my closest friends, we certainly have some shared interests, or even a lot. But I can think of at least a couple of close friends where we have very few shared interests/hobbies/intellectual pursuits...however, we have a close emotional connection, take at least some interest in each other's interests, and TRY TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. I think that's key.

    I do think the OP is concentrating too much on people's flaws and on what he can get out of friendships/relationships. It's a two-way street and it's good to remember that we are all imperfect. Other than that, I think others have made more constructive comments already.
    Yes, I agree. My best female friend hates the subject of History, loathes Star Trek, is afraid of cats. Yet we have the best time with each other and have leaned on each other in times of trouble etc. She has always been there when I needed her and she gives to me generously. No one else can make me laugh so much and so hard. We're more playmates than mindmates and that's just fine by me.

    So what if I can't talk to her about some of my interests? We have other things we do together and other things we talk about. I have other people to discuss things with. A friend does not have to meet all of your needs. A connection with a friend can be more heart centered than head centered.

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